May 31, 2011

Things That Make You Go Hmmmm......Part 3

I would like to subtitle this post:

You Don't See That Everyday

As life here in Singapore becomes more normal, a girl still can't help but take pause at some of the oddities that present themselves here in SE Asia. I have had some fun chronicling them in Part 1 and Part 2 of Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm. A few weeks ago I realized that there is much about life in Texas that I just don't see here and so, Part 3 was born.

Some of these things you would expect. I never see cowboy boots or cowboy hats...unless it's some dude on the top of one of those tourist buses yelling "YeeHaw" as he rolls down Orchard Rd. taking loads of pictures of "all them Asian folks". It's times like that when I stifle the ya'lls in my speech and embrace a more Canadian

I don't see enormous vehicles that can seat 37 people or pickups that can haul an entire house full of furniture. Bumper stickers are practically nonexistent here which makes sense when you are paying $100,000 for your Hyundai. I miss the days of pulling up behind someone and in the 2 minutes it takes for the light to turn green I know how many children they have, what sports they play, the names of their teams, whether they made the honor roll or beat up other kids that made the honor roll, how many pets they have, their political affiliation, and if they believe that a fish stuck on your car will make you drive in a more Christ-like fashion. In Singapore, everyone drives around in complete anonymity and it's no fun at all.

I recently took a very informal survey and 100% of the people surveyed (4 out of 4) told me that there are only 3 drive thrus in all of Singapore. All 3 are McDonalds. That's right....I live a life void of drive thrus but since I don't have a car, that seems to be the least of my issues. I did bribe a taxi driver once with promises of a Grande Latte if he pulled over and waited while I made a Starbucks run. That will work unless you get a cranky driver in which case you just close your eyes and pray you make it to your destination alive.

It is rare that you see a parking lot. Most parking is below the building you are visiting and you always have to pay for it. Everyone parks their cars by backing into a spot with your hazard lights blinking. I don't know why, but apparently that's the rule here and one thing folks are really good about doing.....following the rules. It probably has something to do with that whole caning thing.

There are no billboards lining the roads in Singapore. It stinks because you never know how many more exits until the next Buccees.

You never, ever, ever see people out shopping in their cute new pajama bottoms and Uggs. Never. In fact, the folks here refer to flip flops as slippers. Even shorts are frowned upon but that doesn't stop me from wearing them. The women are modest and it's a pleasant experience to go to the mall and not have to shield the eyes of my boys from teenagers, or 43 year old women, who feel the need to display their stuff. Many women wear loose, comfy dresses that look adorable when you're 90 pounds but when you're.....well....NOT 90 pounds, they make you look about 13 months pregnant. Which I'm not.

Viva la shorts!!

I haven't seen a tanning salon or a self tanner since living here. In fact, there will be entire aisles of whitening creams. The whiter your skin the more beautiful you are supposed to be. Women will wear long sleeves and high collared shirts when excercising, wear gloves when driving and walk with umbrellas to keep the sun off their skin. I recently went to a dermatologist here and while I was concerned about things like acne and suspicious spots on my skin, he couldn't get whitening cream in my hands fast enough for "the dark patches on your forehead". I didn't even know I had dark patches on my forehead. Thank you very much!! I now have something else to feel self-conscious about. Then again, not many people see my forehead so I'll let it go. I wonder what would happen if I used the cream on my teeth? Hmmmm.....

There is a distinct lack of facial hair here. And I don't mean pesky chin whiskers, I mean men with full beards or mustaches. In fact, I don't know that I've ever seen an Asian man with facial hair. Apparently, Asians are not very hairy. I know this because it wasn't that long ago that a friend of mine who is Asian was telling me a story about going to college and seeing girls shaving their armpits and being completely shocked at what they were doing. She was confused and scared by what she saw. I listened to her with my mouth hanging open....can you imagine?? How utterly and completely glorious that would be? Sometimes, life just isn't fair.

I would like to mention a few things that I do see here that I won't ever, ever see back home.

If any of you ever thought I had an over-inflated sense of self, the fact that I'm even posting this picture ought to dispel that notion.

I LOVE this thing and am pretty sure it was probably outlawed in the states years ago after setting someone's hair on fire. It's a shame because there's no massage, no facial, no nothing that is more wonderful and relaxing than having warm air blowing on you with enough noise to make conversation impossible. I even talked my hair lady into an extra 5 minutes the last time I was there. I. Love. It!! And clearly, I look my most fashionable while enjoying that thing!

And what about random sea creatures? Ok, glad you asked since I just so happen to have a couple of pics courtesy of a recent field trip to Underwater World.

My understanding is that these things are all over the place here. I have no idea if they exist back home, but just knowing that these are lurking around in the water is just about enough to make me swear off oceans forever.

And these little guys? They're just weird. Bless their hearts. Stuck in one place forever. The scary thing? There's a really good chance I've eaten one of these things since living here.

I just can't even think about it.

In exactly 102 hours I will be home where I know for sure when I bite into a fajita what I'm getting myself into. I can't wait!!

Make that 101 hours and 57 minutes.....


  1. And Texas is looking forward to it!

  2. I loved this - so funny!! Can't believe you will be home soon!!




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